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Police suppressing investigation in alleged N49m fraud, firm claims

By Joseph Onyekwere |   02 June 2020   |   3:42 am  

Autogig International Resources Ltd, a Lagos-based auto importer and dealer, has claimed that three police officers are suppressing the investigation of certain criminal suspects it is accusing of N49m fraud.

The firm in an appeal to the Lagos State Police Commissioner said the officers are unjustifiably stalling a legitimate criminal investigation it initiated against the suspects.

According to the firm, the alleged suppression of the investigative process by the said officers, who are investigating its case, has hindered the judicial process from kick-starting.

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It has also stalled the release of the petitioner’s goods, a Toyota Prado SUV, 2019 model, which has been accumulating demurrage at the Tincan Island Port in Lagos, it averred.

Dated March 4, the 22-paragraph petition detailed how the officers, allegedly abused their official powers by compromising the said criminal investigative process, which ought to have long dovetailed into the filing of the criminal charge against the suspected persons.

In the petition prepared by the firm’s counsel, Mr. Okey-Joe Onuakalusi, the petitioner averred that it had since July 8, 2019, brought an official complaint of forgery, cheating, uttering, conspiracy and obtaining by false pretenses the sum of N49 million against the suspects, but till date, hardly has the investigation been concluded into the case.

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The firm’s main appeal in the petition is, among others, that the activities of the said officers be investigated; that the matter is transferred from SCID Panti to the State Command and same should be given to a new team of investigators to complete; and that the new team should be under the CP’s watch.

The petitioner also appealed that two of the suspected persons, who are yet to give their statements, be made to do so, adding that the compromising Chief Superintendent of Police is made to produce those who are allegedly being shielded by him.

The firm’s case is that it had paid huge sums of money totalling N49 million to Plus Grace Ltd, Abayomi Cargo Ltd, and Hammed Dubai Logistics for the clearing of five units of 2019 Toyota Prado SUVs at the Tincan Island Port.

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The said sum was disbursed to the accounts of the suspects, who allegedly misappropriated it against the intended purpose.

Thus, on July 8, 2019, the auto dealer lodged a formal complaint against the suspected persons at SCID in Panti, accusing them of obtaining by false pretenses the said sum.

“The police officers commenced their investigation and wrote to the various banks from where the payments were initiated by our client. The banks responded and the lodgments were traced to the bank accounts of the suspects.

“Through the instrumentality of your officers who were assigned to carry out the investigation, our client paid for the tracking of one of them, who was eventually arrested in Osun state and made a useful confessional statement with regards to the way and manner he misappropriated the money paid to him for the clearing of our client’s vehicles,” the lawyer wrote, urging the CP to ensure that justice is done in the matter.

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